Mesothelioma campaigners had a great victory today when they won a high court challenge against the UK government.
The UK government wanted to make mesothelioma sufferers pay 25% of their compensation towards their legal costs, a cost which was previously met by the Defendant insurers. This would have obviously made substantial savings for the insurance industry.
However, the Asbestos Victims’ Support Groups Forum UK effectively put forward their case to the high court disputing that by including mesothelioma victims within the Legal Aid Sentencing and Punishment of Offenders Act (LASPO), without actually reviewing what the effects maybe on mesothelioma claims, is unlawful.
In today’s judgment The Honourable Mr Justice William Davis said: “The issue is whether the Lord Chancellor conducted a proper review of the likely effect of the LASPO reforms on mesothelioma claims…I conclude that he did not.”
“…it is now for the Lord Chancellor to carry out a proper review of the likely effects of the LASPO reforms in whatever manner he concludes will permit him reasonably to achieve the required purpose.”
The UK government argued in court that a review had already been carried out in July and October 2013 regarding mesothelioma claims and the effects on sufferers. However, Asbestos Victims’ Support Groups Forum UK opposed this and contested that no such review had actually taken place. The government will now have no choice but to carry a full review of applying the new LASPO rules to sufferers of mesothelioma.
Chair of the UK wide Forum of Asbestos Support Groups, Tony Whiston, urged the government to: ‘see this judgement as an opportunity to take a new approach based on justice for victims and not the profits of big financial institution’.
Jason Brady of Blackwater Law commented that “this is clearly good news for the victims and families who are affected by this disease. It just adds further insult to an already horrible injury to have to lose a substantial amount of compensation towards legal fees when victims/families are suffering so much already. For the time being claimants and their families still remain protected”.
Blackwater Law is a leading firm for personal injury advice and expertise in the UK and helps victims of asbestos related diseases with their industrial disease compensation claims. The Blackwater Law team has an excellent track record in bringing asbestos compensation claims to settlement. If you think you may have a claim for an industrial disease, then call Blackwater Law today on 0800 083 5500.